I tried to run from my brother’s death – but therapy helped me confront my traumatic past

My tank was empty. No matter how much I willed myself to carry on as normal, my body and mind resisted. It was time to stop running

When my older brother died, the first thing I thought about was work. I had just moved to New York from London, so my family had to break the news over the phone, grappling with my grief while still sucker-punched by their own. But if you had asked me at that moment, I would have told you there was no grief.

Instead, I immediately began thinking about which editors I was going to have to let down. What work might fall by the wayside for ever? I quickly calculated the upsides of my “time off”. At least I would have more time to spend on that long article that was due. Then I thought about going for a run. Or shouting at somebody. Mostly, I thought about getting off the phone. It was all an inconvenience. Had my family – always so keen to remind me of where I had come from and who I was never going to get to be – just passed on this news to ruin my day?

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